Yesha Callahan

You’re Fired!

“You’re fired”, I would think would be the last two words anyone would want to hear on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon. In these times of a troubled economy, and with unemployment on the rise, job stability is something that truly isn’t guaranteed. Just yesterday, I heard from a friend via text message that she was laid off from the corporation she was with for 9 years. First of all, I can’t even count how many people, myself included, has stayed with one corporation that long. Second, when I spoke to her over the phone, she was pretty happy about the situation which was amazing to me. She eventually told me about her 18 week severance package and then it made sense why she wasn’t stressing over it & considering she was about to quit in a matter of weeks because of stress, she’s just happy that she waited it out.

Unlike my friend, most people aren’t fortunate enough to receive such a large severance package, or any at all. This holiday season alone, layoffs will definitely come as a huge blow to anyone, whether they’re single or raising a family. I told a couple of friends of mine that the best advice I could offer was to keep their resume updated and always keep their options open. Unlike employees who should give at least a two weeks notice before resigning, companies are not held to the same obligation.

I remember the first time I was fired from a job. It was definitely a huge blow to not only my ego, but to my confidence. Here I was during my probationary period at a luxury hotel as their HR Director, implementing various employee programs; everything from on-site ESL, flex-time and other employee incentive programs and one morning it all came to an end for myself and a few other coworkers. I think that was the first time I cried over a job. Actually, now that I think about it, it was the first time.

I think what saved me was the fact that I had connections through various people that I knew. They were either direct hire staffing firms I worked with when it came to staffing positions I had available, or random people I met at conferences and seminars. As I sat in my car crying, the first thing I did was reach for my cell phone and started to dial numbers, and collected email addresses to who I could send my resume to. After I pulled myself together, I knew it was up to me to put myself out there and market myself.

Considering that I already knew what employers wanted to see on a resume, the easy part was done. The hardest part is definitely following up and getting to speak to the right people. And to think, networking was something I never liked doing, but in a time of crisis, you learn that you have to do what it takes. In less than two weeks, I was sitting behind my desk in a brand new position. I breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t take months to find a new position, because sitting at home and not doing anything is something that becomes boring pretty fast. So my advice to anyone who doesn’t feel that their job is secure, is to spruce up that resume, circulate it, and network with the right people. It’s always better to have options, then to be caught off guard when lay-offs come around!

Do you feel that you have job ‘security’ in your current position? How would you handle a possible lay-off/firing?

Here is the Season 4 Winner of The Apprentice, former classmate of mine from Rutgers, Randal Pinkett, who wasn’t “FIRED”, but was actually quite successful before his win, several years ago.

  1. November 24, 2008 - Reply

    You are so correct! People need to stay two steps ahead in this economy, never put all your eggs in one basket, especially when you’re an at-will employee!

    • November 24, 2008 - Reply


      “At-Will”, I’m glad you brought that up. Most people don’t even know what that term means. I know Maryland is an ‘at-will’ state, meaning you can be fired at any moment and at any time. No questions asked.

  2. November 24, 2008 - Reply

    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail, Benjamin Franklin

    • November 24, 2008 - Reply


      That is one of my favorite quotes!

  3. November 24, 2008 - Reply

    I’ve learned to stay prayed up at all times because, like you said, they can boot you at will in most cases. I work for a major corp and they’ve made it clear that no stone will go until when it comes to finding ways to save money. I’ve never been fired/laid off, but did go thru a period of time when I was in between jobs and that had to be the most stressful, desperate time of my life.

    • November 24, 2008 - Reply


      Since you’re here in MD as well, I’m sure you’re familiar with ‘at-will’. Companies will do whatever it takes to save a dime…they have no loyalty to their employees or their share holders, basically. Once people begin to realize that, they’ll know to always keep their options open.

      • November 25, 2008 - Reply

        @[fung'ke] [blak] [chik]

        How true. I’ve seen it happen enough times to know better.

        • November 25, 2008 - Reply


          Yup I’ve seen it as well, and have been on the giving end of terminations…what I used to do with people I fired was offer them contacts in regards to finding new employment elsewhere…just to not leave them hanging….

  4. November 24, 2008 - Reply

    The first time I ever got fired was in the year 2000. I had been with the company as a Marketing Director for 10yrs. I ain’t gonna lie, it messed my head up because I never saw it coming. I was so used to seeing other department heads get the axe but not me is what I always thought. The company merged with another corporation and basically that meant I was out the door. I thought it was unfair and I was pissed about it for a very long time after that.
    It didn’t take long to get back on my feet though. I just saw the “time off” as being a much needed vacation (LOL). In the 10yrs working for them, I only had a vacation twice; yeah, I was that dedicated to my job. It taught me one thing though: EVERYONE IS REPLACEABLE!!
    But with this econmy this shit is no joke. My wife has been off work as her department was shipped overseas. But thank God for the severance package with her being in upper management and all. I’m telling you, its gonna be long cold winter for a host of people, and its really sad when you think about it.

    • November 24, 2008 - Reply


      1o yrs? That is definitely time invested…And you only took 2 vacations? You’s a! But you’re my boy, so I can call u that! I don’t know if I’m more laxed b/c of the gubment job I have, but I take full advantage of my leave/vacation time. Although, even working in the gov’t isn’t a 100% guarantee, the only thing that I worry about most if the hiring freezes, and the furlow that could possibly happen.
      The Coldest Winter ever, I’m sure, for tons of families. Sad but true.

  5. November 25, 2008 - Reply

    I admit that I don’t network nearly as much as I should. I’m still in that working-my-way-from-the-bottom-of-the-ladder stage in my career, so I feel like networking is not mutually beneficial for the people I meet. And I’m always stumped as to the follow-up: ok, we’ve met for coffee, now what?
    That being said, I don’t feel 100% job security.. most people have it rough during this time (IMO).

    • November 25, 2008 - Reply


      It doesn’t matter what stage of your career that you’re in..any networking is good networking! When I meet someone at a conf. I always follow up with an email, just to stay fresh on their mind.

  6. November 25, 2008 - Reply

    I can’t think of a person or two that needs to see this. I love your hustlin spirit. Many folks are missing that “gene.”
    I’m fortunate that my job is protected and secure. Only way I could get fired is “if I were to steal money or get caught screwing my mother in the lobby.” Don’t ask. Although I’ve had thoughts of leaving for professional reasons, even after only 9 months, I know I need to stay put in this economy.

    • November 25, 2008 - Reply

      @Vivrant Thang

      The gene actually grew on me…b/c I definitely wasn’t always this way…it wasn’t until I was forced to get out there and hit the pavement running. Honestly in this area, I used to hate networking b/c everyone seems to want to size you up..on Where you live? Where do you work? What’s your salary? Etc..etc.
      I’m not even going to ask about the “steal money/mother in the lobby” bit…lol

  7. November 25, 2008 - Reply

    I work for the federal government in a health and human services agency and my office is short staffed with a bit of hiring freeze so I feel pretty secure but if I got laid off there is a place at my moms (the horror!)

    • November 25, 2008 - Reply


      ROFL @ ‘the horror’!

    • November 25, 2008 - Reply


      LOL! Shoot, at least you have a place at your moms…I can’t say the same thing…As a matter of fact, my mother would probably say, “At least I have a place at my daughters”

  8. November 26, 2008 - Reply

    The work that I do isn’t directly affected by the economy in that everyone needs healthcare. The re-imbursement rates are sometimes contingent on the budget, but even they are relatively recession-proof.
    In these trying times, you NEED to be flexible. You may not have the opportunity to work that dream job, but let’s face it, you need to pay your bills, put food on your table, and keep a roof over your head. Take that f*cked up job ’til you can get the one that you really want.
    I’ve never been fired, but have been VERY close to it! (LMBAO)

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